Schools for Scoundrels

Jet Skis, Scottish real estate, Louis Vuitton bags: how crooks have cashed in on the charter school boom.

Mickey: Cat Lane/iStockphoto; Vending machine: Vendingvision

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Also read: Jeb Bush’s Cyber Attack on Public Schools and Fox in the Schoolhouse: Rupert Murdoch Wants to Teach Your Kids!

Charter schools have been held up as models of innovative school reform, but due to a striking lack of oversight (PDF), the sector is also a magnet for fraud. Between 2005 and 2011, the US Department of Education opened 53 investigations into charter school fraud, resulting in 21 indictments and 17 convictions. Twenty-seven investigations are pending. Let’s just say the following schools didn’t make it into Waiting for “Superman”:

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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